Urban Realm Volume 12.51

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This issue of Urban Realm focuses on health and wellness as we surface recent moves to democratise access to sport, encouraging people to get out and about at a time when staying in has become the norm.
At Meadowbank Sports Centre we see how elite and regular users cohabit a space that offers something for everyone. Cloaked in light-giving polycarbonate, its stacked halls and courts have hit the ground running. A similar ethos drives the approach to Broomieknowe Golf Club, where an acknowledgement that more must be done to attract younger and female players is the key driver of change.
Elsewhere we delve into the developing field of net mapping, now employed by urbanists seeking solutions to cultural issues through a tangle of nodes and connections. More dramatically we visit the crisis-torn city of Beirut, still dealing with the repercussions of a disastrous fertiliser explosion which devastated the port. We cover one novel idea to bring some good from a terrible situation.
Catch up on all this and more in issue 51 of Urban Realm.


  • Meadowbank Sports Centre
    Edinburgh leisure’s vision to harness the power of sport to tackle health & wellbeing issues is on track at Meadowbank. In the running to become a destination of choice for professionals and amateurs alike, the hub shows what can be achieved when everything works out.
  • Engineering Report
    From low carbon to high costs, by way of a dearth of talent, engineers are facing some of their toughest challenges head-on. We delve behind the facades of some of our most exciting new buildings to detail the technical standards, philosophies and resources upon which their success is founded. Join six of the best engineers at work today on a journey from the bowels of the Scottish National Gallery to the revitalised glass roof of the Burrell as we take a detailed look at a profession which is as in demand as it is demanding.
  • Livingston Skate Park
    A bid to list a ground-breaking skatepark in Livingston has sparked a flurry of interest in the sport and the architecture which underpins it. Here Mark Chalmers investigates links between the sculptural landscape of pipes, bowls and ledges crafted by skateboarders to the broader new town environment.
  • Broomieknowe Golf Club
    A desire to introduce younger and female members to golf has sparked a radical clubhouse design that opens up new horizons for both membership and views. We look at how Calum Duncan Architects have reimagined this most suburban of building typologies to create a more welcoming front door.
  • Employee Ownership
    Against an inauspicious backdrop of Brexit and covid Hoskins Architects has pulled off an audacious international structural overhaul to extend its egalitarian working practices to the machinery of business. What’s in a name?
  • Beirut Grainscraper
    The detonation of 2,750 tonnes of fertiliser in Beirut in 2020 reverberates to this day with a debate over what to do with the partially collapsed grain silos which bore the brunt of the blast. Local architect Gioia Sawaya shares proposals to salvage fermenting grain as a bio-composite material suitable for construction.
  • Solar in Architecture
    The UK housebuilding industry is, at last, moving towards net zero by 2050 but still lags behind the rest of the world, especially when it comes to exploiting solar energy. Leslie Howson looks at the use of solar energy in housing design.

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